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Control Of Beetle Infestations Begins In Alabama State Parks

September 25, 2006

Some Alabama State Parks are contending with Black Turpentine Beetle and Ips Engraver Beetle infestations due to drought conditions that weakened susceptible pine trees. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources State Parks Division responded quickly by selectively spraying trees to protect the natural resources and to protect the recreational atmosphere in the parks.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Barnett Lawley said, “Our state parks provide visitors with an abundance of natural resources and recreational activities. We cannot afford to take this problem lightly. We will do everything feasible to alleviate the problem safely, effectively and quickly.”

Black Turpentine Beetles and Ips Engraver Beetles are among five species, commonly known as Pine Bark Beetles, present in Alabama pine forests. Black Turpentine and Ips beetles typically infest pine trees stressed by injury such as lightning, or by environmental conditions such as a drought. Pine Bark Beetles do more damage to southern pine timber than any other type of insect by boring through the outer bark and feeding within the soft inner bark of pine trees. Each species of beetle attacks a specific part of the pine tree. Ips Engraver Beetles typically attack higher up the tree while Black Turpentine Beetles attack the lower portion of the trunk.

Isolated, effected trees will be treated with Onyx™, an insecticide recommended by the Alabama Forestry Commission. It contains an active ingredient that is highly effective in battling beetle infestations. In addition, recent rains and approaching winter cold should help curtail the beetle infestation. The two parks currently designated for selective spraying of beetle spots are Lake Guntersville State Park in Guntersville and Lakepoint Resort State Park in Eufaula. Hours of operation at both parks will not be effected.


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